Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. For by it the elders obtained a good testimony. (Hebrews 11:1-2).
Maybe you’re a Christian who is dedicated, striving to please God. You diligently read the Word, serve other believers, pray, live in obedience to those in authority, and trust God in your life.
But things in your life don’t always go as “planned” they don’t always go like “everyone else”, or as expected, you know. Sometimes living to please God makes you look unconventional, and you feel out of place or odd. Welcome to the group of unconventionals!
As I read through Hebrews, I realized many people of faith were unconventional in an unintentional way… their life pattern did not look similar to the world or even their own friends & family. So be encouraged if you’re going through a difficult time or something that doesn’t go like you expect it, because God does that with individuals that He uses for His purpose and Kingdom!
Let me introduce you to some of those who had unconventional lives in Hebrews chapter 11. Things were not always “normal” for them either!
Abel (v. 4)- obeyed God. He didn’t sacrifice in the humanly “expected” manner, from the produce of the land. He made an animal sacrifice. His sacrifice was more excellent than Cain’s.
Enoch (v. 5)- he did not die like everyone else. He was taken up to heaven.
Noah (v. 7)- He looked like a fool to the people around him when He built the ark while everyone else was partying, building houses, living life. He could have been discouraged and joined in their pursuits. But in the end who was blessed and who perished?
Abraham (v. 8)- he didn’t live in one place his entire life like everyone else. He left his country, family and house, to another place (not even knowing the destination!) in obedience to God. I’m sure his family probably thought he lost his mind. He lived in tents waiting for his inheritance.
Sarah (v. 11) – had no children like all the other women around her, and was past the age. Both she and Abraham were faithful to God, so why did she not? She was hopeless everyone’s eyes. But something unconventional happened- she had a child anyway.
Moses (v.23-24)- did not have the usual start to life of an ordinary baby, or like the babies around him. He was hidden three months after he was born. When he grew up, he chose to associate with the slaves (his people) rather than his royal life. After the royalty of Egypt he lived an anonymous life before he was called to lead God’s people.
The Israelites (v. 29)- they had a most unusual way to escape- through the Red Sea! And when others like the Egyptians tried to do it, they drowned.
Joshua & the Israelites (v. 30)- did not use the common military tactics to conquer Jericho. Marching around the walls seven times for seven days and shouting can look very foolish in a military general’s eyes- but Joshua was following God’s orders. And it worked!
Rahab (v. 31)- tied a red cord to her window in an agreement with the conquerers (Israel). She could have been against Israel like the rest of her people, but she took a different, unconventional path- and she lived.
And you can find more examples of unconventional people in Hebrews like “Barak and Samson and Jephthah, also of David and Samuel and the prophets…” as well as Christians in the New Testament.
The reality is, all these people couldn’t have done it on their own- God provided the faith for them, and they trusted God’s promises. When you live a life of faith, your life does not always look normal. The unique, unconventional pathway you are on, can turn into great conquering, and a great testimony through God’s grace if you live in obedience to Him!